Kusturica: ‘I am not Pantelija’

Kusturica: ‘I am not Pantelija’

Banja Luka, January 9, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Mladen Dragojlovic

Famous film director, Emir Kusturica, answered to his former friend Abdulah Sidran who claimed that he is a “fake Kusturica” and that the “original” died in the battles for Sarajevo on the side of Bosniaks.

Sidran, screenwriter for two Kusturica movies before the war, said in one interview that he personally met the “original” in Sarajevo and that Kusturica was a hero defending Sarajevo from chetniks (Serbs). He also stated that Secret service of Slobodan Milosevic at the time gave Kusturica’s identity to one Pantelija Milisavljevic, who bears a simlarity with the famous director.

Reacting on this statements in an open letter to public, Kusturica called Sidran “Sarajevo poet and spiritual homeless” and imagine how the persons from his real life are converted in something else.

“The list of those whom Sidran own money to is very long. If Kusturica was killed in the war and was replaced with Pantelija, how did then Sidran met with Kusturica several years ago and offered a new screenplay in a attempt to gain enough money for a retirement, which he did not earn defending Sarajevo and writing poets. He came to the meeting and put three pages of text expecting that I will rewrite them and make the movie”, Kusturica says in the letter.

He added that, when Sidran was in danger to get blind, the poet came to “original” Kusturica for help. As the movie maker said, he gave five thousand Euro for surgery and saved his eyes, adding that two years ago, when Sidran was still convinced that he will pay him for the screenplay, in an interview for “Oslobodjenje” newspaper, said that a long time will pass until a new Kusturica is born.

“When he realised that I will not give him any money, he claimed I died. What a blackmail. What if we find out that the “original” Sidran died during the war in Syria as many other Bosniaks, fighting against Bashar al Assad, wondered Kusturica at the end of his open letter.